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Kate down but not out

By Mark Etheridge

A bad head cold was the main reason for our top-ranked triathlete Kate Roberts’ below par performance at the Mooloolaba ITU World Triathlon Cup event in Australia on Sunday.

Currently based in Australia, Bloemfontein’s Roberts ended 2012 ranked as the world’s seventh best triathlon but faded to 30th in the Olympic distance event in Mooloolaba.

Still, this was her opening race of another long season and there’s plenty of time for her to pick herself up and mix it with the best again as she continues to chase her dream of excelling at next year’s 2012 Olympics in London.

Australian coach Darren Smith agrees that the result must be put into long-term perspective, and reckons that if his charge had been healthy for Sunday’s race they would have been expecting a finish around the Top 10 mark.

“The head cold was around for two weeks and was still there for the race. But she’s been training fine, not brilliantly obviously but to put things into perspective, this WC was her first race a long season and not part of the WCS series so matters very little from an outcome perspective. Maybe it does to South Africa but not to me, since we’re preparing for London right now, not anything in the near term.

“As far as the race went she did some ‘blond’ things with transition penalties that cost her about 10 place but I was happy with other bits of the race. We invested quite a lot of time on her biking and since then she is on the improve in the other disciplines. Sydney will be better, Madrid better still…”

Roberts told Road to London 2012 that she had battled to shake off the cold:”I came back to Canberra and I went straight to the doctor to get me on a course of antibiotics. I have been ill for a long time and I was hoping it would clear up without the help of antibiotics but it was wishful thinking as it just got worse unfortunately…

“Things have just been a bit hectic after the race and me trying getting back to training with not much time left before I race again.”

Reading between the lines SA triathlon fans shouldn’t expect too much from a racing Roberts until mid-season but watch this space…

As she said on her Facebook website after the race: “Tough day at the office yesterday.. :-( But hey the sun still came up this morning and life goes on.. The bad times certainly make us appreciate the good times that much more!”


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